Try these yoga moves instead. Yes, really! Back bends energize, balancing postures invigorate, and inversions get your blood flowing. Each of these poses will add some extra sparkle to that second half of your day and keep you going sans caffeine or sugar till it’s time for bed. (Then you can move on to these yoga poses for a better night’s sleep.
1. Downward Dog Knee to Nose Taps
Begin in downward dog. Lift your right leg high to downward dog split. Round your right knee to your nose, drawing your navel toward your spine. On your inhale, come back to downward dog split, and on your exhale, tap your knee to your nose while you contract your navel to your spine. Do this at least 5 times quickly, and then repeat on the other side.
Read More: Lose Your Weight With 10 Simple Yoga Poses
2. Chair Twist Kriya
Begin standing with big toes together, outer edges of feet parallel. Bend your knees and sink your hips back like you’re sitting down in a chair. Reach your arms high, framing your face. This is chair pose. Inhale here to lengthen through your spine. On your exhale, take your hands together at the center of your chest in a prayer position. Twist to the right, placing your left elbow outside of your right thigh, looking up over your right shoulder. On your next inhale come back to chair, and on your next exhale do the same twist to the left. On your next inhale, come back to chair. Repeat this, linking your breath to your movement for 1 minute at a quick, steady pace.
3. Warrior III
From a standing forward bend, walk your hands under your shoulders, placing them on the floor (or on blocks if the floor is too far away). Transfer your weight to your right foot, putting a slight bend in your right knee, and float your left leg high behind you. Reach through your left heel and internally rotate your left thigh so your toes point toward the ground. If you feel steady, lift your hands off the ground and reach your arms straight out in front of you, framing your face with your upper arms. Stay here for 5 deep breaths and then switch sides.
4. Tree with Chest Opener
Stand with soft knees. Bend your left knee and open from your hip out to the left. Keeping your hip open, place your left foot inside your right thigh or shin (you can also place the ball of your left foot on the ground with your heel on the inside of your right calf—just don’t place it on your knee joint). Clasp your hands behind your sacrum and open your chest by reaching your fist slightly away from your body. Use each inhale to lift your chest a bit higher and each exhale to lengthen through your tailbone and lean back a bit more. Stay here for at least 5 deep breaths and then repeat on the other side.
5. Dancer Pose
From standing, shift your weight onto your right leg. Bend your left knee and grab the inside of your left ankle with your left hand. Gently lift your left leg and press your ankle into your hand to open your back. Reach your right arm straight up. Stay here for 5 long, deep breaths and then repeat on the other side.
6. Reverse High Lunge Twist
Begin in high lunge with your right foot forward. Twist your torso to the right as you reach your left arm forward and your right arm back. Then, lean your torso back and reach down your left inner leg with your right hand as your left arm reaches up, lengthening through the left side waist. Stay here for 5 deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.
7. Camel Pose
Begin in a high kneeling position with your hips over and lined up with your knees, and your weight supported by your shins and the tops of your feet. Place your palms on your sacrum—fingers face up or down, whichever feels better, tailbone reaching down—and draw your elbows in to one another so that they aren’t winging out. Keep your thighs rotating inward and pull your shoulder blades toward one another and down your back. Look to the ceiling as you lift your chest upward. Release your hands to your heels and arch your spine. Tip your head back to keep the whole spine in extension if that is appropriate for your neck. Breathe here for at least 5 deep breaths.
Read More: 5 Yoga Poses That Will Slim You Down
8. Handstand L-Hops
Begin in a forward fold with your fingertips on the ground. Soften through your knees and transfer your weight into your left leg, tipping weight forward into your hands. Extend your right leg back behind you. Press your palms firmly on the ground under your shoulders and straighten your arms. Come high onto the ball of your left foot. Keep your right leg lifted and rock forward and back, just starting to get your hips over shoulders. Next, start to take small hops on left leg. When you hop up, lift right leg high so hips are over shoulders and keep left leg dangling down so your legs are in an “L” shape. Keep breathing though the entire movement, inhaling as you rock or lightly hop up, and exhaling as you release. (Be sure to keep super soft knees so that when you land you aren’t putting stress on your joints.) Try 3 to 5 hops and then repeat on the other side.